What do your peers and colleagues hope to accomplish this summer? I asked some of our readers where they plan to travel and how they hope to enhance their knowledge of the industry during the coming months. What I found out was they’d be—as usual—combining their love of travel with work, which in many cases, involves visiting new places.
“Summer, what is that? I so long to sit in my backyard with a Mojito and do nothing, but that wouldn’t be me,” laughs Mary Jean Tully, chairman & CEO of The Cruise Professionals. “My husband [Brad] and I just returned from a month in Asia. It was part business and part pleasure. There is such a fine line between the two, because I love what I do so much. We get to go back to all of these wonderful places and yet see a lot of new hotels and establish relationships with old ones. We have many clients who live in Hong Kong and Shanghai, so there were so many wonderful things planned for us.
“Next week I am heading down to Ft. Lauderdale for Seabourn’s Pinnacle Club Meeting for two days, then at the end of the month I am heading out to Santa Barbara for a wedding of a very good friend who is also a client.
“In June, I head to New York for a day of meetings, then dinners with clients. Later in the month I head to Southampton to join the christening of the brand new Eurodam for Holland America’s Centurion Event. In July, I’ll participate in the Crystal Gala aboard the Serenity. Then in September and October, we are hosting our Chairman’s cruises in Europe. After one of the cruises, my husband and I are flying from Istanbul (where we will spend a few days kicking back) and then fly to Cappadocia, where Brad and I will do hot-air ballooning with friends and stay a few days. That will be so nice.
“All in all it is a very busy summer. But, it is a combination of what I love best; business and pleasure are so closely connected. We are truly blessed.”
Nancy Strong, CEO of Strong Travel Services in Dallas, tells us: “I have not had a real summer vacation in years but I do count my trips as a vacation from the office. I am starting this summer by visiting Venice, Florence, Rome and Sardinia. I am traveling with Mary Gallo and Starwood Luxury Hotels.
“Every summer I visit a spa in Mexico. I have been going there for over 25 years; it is Ixtapan De La Sal. Of course, by now I know the owners very well and have seen their son take over the operation of the hotel /spa. It is a lovely place in the mountains. I love the mineral waters and I tell myself I am getting recycled each year!
“During Fourth of July Week we visit our oldest son (of the five boys), who has a lake house in South Haven, Michigan. It’s charming small town America, complete with parade and fireworks and picnics on the beach. Most of the family gathers, along with the grandchildren. There are 22 of us– 12 are grandchildren. We enjoy the trendy little towns nearby, like Saugatuck and we love the Sherman’s Ice Cream and the fresh blueberries!
“Every free weekend during the summer, we go to our ranch, which is one hour from Dallas. Another son has a lake house not far from the ranch so we can do a little boating and grilling. I used to ride my horse “Trigger” until last year and a bad back.
“Having the ranch is a real escape and puts balance in our busy lives. We lock the gates and disconnect the Blackberry.
“August is devoted to Virtuoso and Travel Mart and several family birthdays, including my own. It’s like a national holiday around here.
“The summer passes quickly as the children start school earlier here, and by now we are weary of the Texas heat.”
Maureen Jones, president of All Horizons Travel in Los Altos, CA, reports that in June, she’ll be attending the top producers meeting in Maui, Hawaii for Hawaii World, Signature Travel Network’s preferred Hawaiian supplier. “Since it’s our 40th wedding anniversary we are going in a few days early to where we spent our honeymoon. It’s also [my husband] Roy’s birthday, so it’s a special time,” she says. “Roy lost his wedding ring on the first day we were married in the surf at the Hana Maui Hotel so we are going back to try and find it. We’re not holding our breath.
“In July, we’re hosting a 12-day Signature Travel Network Regent cruise on the Paul Gauguin to Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Roy and I will be Mum and Dad to 60 happy travelers.
“In August, I’ll be attending the Aussie Specialists conference, which I go to every year. I am a Premier agent, one of only 100 in the world. The Australian Tourist Commission puts on an excellent trade show and classes; it’s well worth attending. I will then be taking a fam trip either to Tasmania, or Western Australia. Our plans are not firm yet.”